Albertine In Five Times

by Michel Tremblay, translated by John van Burek and Bill Glasso

Albertine In Five Times had 1 performance 8 months ago (on the 13th of October 2023) at Rhoda McGaw Theatre

A moving portrait of Albertine in 1982 at five different periods in her life.

70 year old Albertine interacts with her younger selves and with her long dead sister Madeleine. A five-sided portrait of a bruised and fractured woman as versions of herself collide on stage. They argue and debate their attitudes towards life and its hardships.

A woman born at a time when being a wife and mother was the expected career path. Each age carries unique memories and holds a specific point of view as they reveal the complexity of Albertine’s life and converse with each other across time and space.

Original

Albertine at 70 - Frankie Godliman

At 70, alone in her room on her first night in a Nursing Home, 70 year old Albertine reconsiders her past and present situation. She is resigned to the fact that her room is the last place that she will live in and accepts her situation stoically. She is pleased to be alive after a near death experience but some of her fierceness in her attitude to 60 suggests that some of her issues have not yet been resolved. As the play progresses we catch glimpses of her regrets and yearning for love. She is a conflicted woman who refuses to take life lying down.

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Albertine at 30 - Sophie Paterson

At 30 in 1942 a war widow frustrated by her demanding young children, her constant denigration by her mother, and a sister who seems to have a perfect life. She loves her children but lacks the vital maternal qualities. She feels a failure because she can’t be the mother she should be. We later find out why she is recuperating in the country, as she trusts Madeleine with her shocking story about beating her daughter and her fear of that overpowering anger.

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Albertine at 40 - Sarah Slater

At 40 in 1952 Depressed and overwhelmed with the constant fights with her children whom she thinks do not listen to her. The fire of guilt is consuming her, which creates a chill around her that shuts people out. She is now bitter and lonely in her dead-end apartment and has let herself go. In modern terms she is probably suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, following the beating of her daughter. She cannot see that her sister Madeleine is trying to reach out to her to give her some help.

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Albertine at 50 - Nicola Anderson

At 50 in 1962 Now an independent woman, working as a waitress and looking much smarter. She has turned her back on her past and cut her children out of her life. She now has warmth, energy, positivity and freedom.. Her praise of herself and the hard decisions she has taken create very sharp edges and it seems she may realise the hollowness that lies beneath.

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Albertine at 60 - Caroline Ross

At 60 in 1972 She is now struggling with problems that are not of her making. After the shock of her daughter’s sudden unexpected death she has let herself go and drifted into addiction to pills and a deliberate bitter isolation. The past has caught up with her.

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Madeleine - Jean Warner

Albertine’s sister and a counterbalance to Albertine’s guilt & anger. In her short life she was happy in her marriage and with her children. She is glowing with energy and has a poise which makes the others look even more desolate. Her cheerful, helpful demeanour could be mistaken for flaunting her good fortune and it sometimes provokes jealousy in the other characters.

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Director - Judith Dolley

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Stage Manager - Clare Pinnock

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Set Design and Construction - John Godliman

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Lighting - Jamie Sims

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Continuity - Liz Morrell

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Sound - Ian Santry

The Eileen Harper Memorial Trophy for Runners Up Woking Drama Festival - 2023
The Guildburys Award for Technical Excellence Woking Drama Festival - 2023
The Pauline Brown Award for Best Backstage Management Woking Drama Festival - 2023